Thomas Jefferson Mullins was the son of Thomas Mullins (c. 1772 – c. 1859) and Anny Smith (aft 1783 - bef 1850).
Thomas Jefferson Mullins was the third generation of three men named Thomas Mullins, all of whom were tobacco growers and plantation owners in Rockingham County, N.C. In order to distinguish among these three men in the proof of lineage articles, the following designations will be used:
- Thomas III will be used for Thomas Jefferson Mullins, father of William Madison Mullins,
- Thomas II will be used for Thomas Mullins, father of Thomas III, and
- THomas I will be used for Rev. Thomas Mullins, father of Thomas II. Rev. Mullins was a Baptist minister for over 50 years, and served as pastor of the Lick Fork Primitive Baptist Church in Rockingham County until his death in 1816.
The 1840 Rockingham NC shows a father and son, Thomas Mullin(s) Sr. and Thomas Mullin(s) Jr.1. The following deed from Rockingham County also shows a father and son Thomas Mullins in Rockingham:
- Indenture dated 22 May 1839 between Thomas Mullins and "Thomas Mullins his son", both of Rockingham County1.
Evidence is provided below that the Thomas Mullins Jr. named on the 1840 census and on the 1839 deed is the father of William Madison Mullins. Therefore, the father of Thomas III is Thomas Mullin(s) Sr. shown on the 1840 Rockingham County census.
Identity of Thomas Mullins Jr. on the 1840 U.S. Census: North Carolina, Rockingham
First, we can conclude that Thomas III lived in North Carolina in 1840, based on the following evidence:
- He married Matilda Mims in Caswell County, NC, in 18363;
- Based on the stated ages and birthplaces of his first five children on the 1850 U.S. Census: Tennessee, McNairy4 and on later censuses, these first five children were born in North Carolina in about 1837, 1839, 1841, 1843, and 1845; and
- William Madison Mullins's Union Army enlistment card indicates that he was born in Rockingham County, NC5.
Second, a search on ancestry.com for "Thomas Mullin" on the 1840 U.S. Census: North Carolina reveals only two individuals named Thomas Mullin in the entire state: the Thomas Mullin Sr. and Thomas Mullin Jr. listed in Rockingham County.
A further search using all common alternate spellings and misspellings for "Mullins" yields only one additional person, Thomas Mullens in Chatham County, NC, age 60-69, wife age 70-79. This could not be Thomas III, who would have been about 24 in 1840 based on later census records.
Therefore, the Thomas Mullins Jr. listed on the 1840 census and 1839 Rockingham County deed is Thomas III, the father of William Madison Mullins, and the son of Thomas Mullins Sr. of Rockingham County.
An additional confirmatory piece of evidence comprises the ages of Thomas Mullins Jr.'s children shown on the 1840 census6: one son under 5, and one daughter under 5. These two children correspond to the listings on the 1850 census7: in 1850, the only two children of Thomas III older than 10 years were Mary, age 13, and John, age 11. These are the two children shown on the 1840 census.
Another piece of circumstantial evidence is shown in the next article, "Proof of Lineage – Thomas Mullins II", that ties Thomas III directly to two aunts and one uncle, who were children of his grandfather, Thomas I, the Rev. Thomas Mullins (1736-1816) of the Lick Fork Primitive Baptist Church, through land deeds in Tennessee.
Documentation of dates and places of birth, marriage and death
Thomas Mullins II was 78 years old on the 1850 Rockingham County8, placing his birth year c. 1772.
Thomas (II) Mullins's will9 was written 8 Feb 1855, and was probated Feb term 1859, placing his death year c. 1859.
Anny Smith was between 16 and 25 years old on the 1810 Rockingham census10 placing her birth year 1784-1794. Other census records do not narrow her age range. Therefore her birth year is aft 1783.
Anny's place of birth is unknown. She is not listed on the 1850 Rockingham census presumably deceased, placing her death year before 1850.
The marriage date for Thomas Mullins and Anny smith is recorded in Rockingham County as 25 Dec 180411.
1Thomas Mullins families, 1840 U.S. Census: North Carolina, Rockingham
2Thomas Mullins Sr. Deed, 22 May 1839, Rockingham Deed Book 21: 283, no. 1862, Register of Deeds, Wentworth, North Carolina.
3Mullins-Mims Marriage Bond, Recorder of Deeds, Caswell County Courthouse, Yancyville NC. 10 Oct 1836
4TJ Mullins family, 1850 U.S. Census: Tennessee, McNairy
5William M. Mullins, Pvt., Missouri Civil War records, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
61840 Rockingham NC census op. cit.
71850 NcNairy TN census op. cit.
8Thomas Mullins family, 1850 U.S. Census: NC, Rockingham
9Thomas Mullins will, 1855: Rockingham Co. Will Book Vol. C, 291
10Thomas Mullins family, 1810 U.S. Census: NC, Rockingham
11Mullins-Smith marriage 1804, North Carolina Marriage Collection, 1741-2005, on line data base ancestry.com, Provo UT
William Madison Mullins (1845-1913) was the son of Thomas Jefferson Mullins (1816-1891) and Matilda Brooks Mims (1816- aft 1870). Evidence:
William's parents are shown on their marriage bond: Thomas Mullin(s) and Matilda B(rooks) Mims, dated 10 Oct 1836 in Caswell Co., NC (home county of the Mims family)1. Thomas and his father-in-law, John W. Mims, signed the bond.
The proof of William Madison Mullins's parents is that he appears on every U.S. census living with his parents, Thomas and Matilda Mullins, from 1850 through 18702,3,4 and he appears living next to his parents and in-laws in 18805. Further, he is named on a probate document in 1891 for his father's estate as a security for the bond posted by his brother, T.J. Mullins (Jr.), who was administrator of the estate.
The 1890 U.S. Census for Arkansas was lost, as it was for most states.
Thomas Jefferson Mullins died intestate in Washington Co. AR on 11 Feb 1891, as documented on a letter of probate6. In this letter, the court clerk appointed Thomas's oldest son, T.J. Mullins, administrator of the estate, during a court vacation.
On 1 Jun 1891, the Washington County Court confirmed the appointment of T.J. Mullins (Jr.) as administrator, and approved the bond of $4,000 that he posted. William Madison Mullins is cited on this document as one of T.J. Mullins's securities:
"…with W.(?)W. Hewett, W.M. Mullins, and Geo. P. Moore as his securities"7.
[George P. Moore was a contemporary of the Mullins brothers, grew up next door to William's wife Sophia Freyschlag (1860 Fayetteville census), and served in the CSA with Thomas Jefferson Mullins (Jr.). There were several Hewitt families in Prairie, Washington, Arkansas, including a W.W. Hewitt who was a large landholder.]
Documentation of dates and places of birth, marriage, and death
The birth year for both Thomas Jefferson Mullins and Matilda Mims is c. 1816 from the ages listed on the 1850-1880 censuses (1850-1870 for Matilda). Matilda's death year is after 1870 because she is not listed on the 1880 census. Thomas Jefferson Mullins's death date is 1891, from the probate documents cited above.
1Mullins-Mims Marriage Bond, Recorder of Deeds, Caswell County Courthouse, Yancyville NC. 10 Oct 1836.
2Thomas Mullins family, 1850 U.S. Census: Tennessee, McNairy
3Thomas Mullins family, 1860 U.S. Census: Missouri, Christian
4Thomas Mullins family, 1870 U.S. Census: Arkansas, Washington, Prairie Township
5Wm Mullins family, 1880 U.S. Census: Arkansas, Washington, Prairie Township
6Washington County Probate Book J, 123, Washington County Archives, Fayetteville AK.
7Washington County Probate Book J, 125, Washington County Archives, Fayetteville AK